Marilyn Garson reviews Norman Finkelstein’s new book ‘Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom’: “Finkelstein has set out to deconstruct the false narrative of war in Gaza, by refuting its component parts. One by one. Finkelstein is an author, activist and scholar with decades of archives and outrage to bring. ‘Gaza’ is one exhaustive act of witness.”
Category Archives: Middle East
‘Why is it so important for indigenous people to maintain their identity? What is so bad with a particular way of life or culture disappearing?’ the lecturer at Macquairie University in Sydney asked 25 years ago. Now his student, Avigail Abarbanel, has the answer: Because colonialism entails a violent “policy of elimination” to overcome resistance.
Moshé Machover, a British-Israeli activist and member of the UK’s Labour Party, has prepared the following testimony in defense of Labour activist and co-founder of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign Tony Greenstein who will undergo a disciplinary hearing on January 25, 2018 over accusations of alleged anti-Semitic comments made online.
This February, Canada’s New Democratic Party will debate a resolution calling for the use of diplomatic and economic pressure to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories. Yazan Khader says Palestine solidarity activists must make use of this opportunity by attending the convention: “In the end, the proposal’s success will depend on the number of people in the room raising their hands to vote for it. So I invite you. In February, join us and raise your hand for Palestine.”
Rebecca Vilkomerson’s acknowledgment of Israel’s travel ban of Jewish Voice for Peace — “as we at JVP are now feeling the pain of exclusion, we are very aware that Palestinians have always faced profiling and bans on entry to Israel” — recalls Spinoza’s gracious acceptance of his excommunication by Amsterdam Jews in 1656. As history now shines on Spinoza, one day it will shine on Vilkomerson and JVP.
Zionism’s adherents see the ideology as a kind of ‘essence of life’, essential to the survival of Jews. Therefore the person who breaks with the ideology has betrayed a social contract, and by citing liberal values, has offended Zionists and made them feel lesser, Jonathan Ofir explains. No wonder the person who breaks often is socially ostracized or regarded with great mistrust.
Trump could have recognized Miami Beach as the capital of Israel, says Queens rabbi Yaakov Shapiro; but that is a political decision that has nothing to do with Judaism. “We have nothing to do with Israel. We are religious Jews… Israel is not my nation state in the slightest. This is a unilateral claim of the Zionists, and it’s an assault on my religion.”
Richard Falk writes that the proper priority for genuine advocates of peace between Israelis and Palestinians should be centered around apartheid rather than be devoted to reviving an Oslo style ‘peace process’ or proclaiming the goal of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. He says this is not attainable without first dismantling the apartheid structures that subjugate the Palestinian people as a whole so as to maintain the Zionist insistence on Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
Those of us denouncing the decade-long siege on the Gaza Strip can help alleviate its impact, even as we continue to organize to bring an end to it. One way we can do this is by supporting the Edward Said Public Library, an oasis of escape, creativity, and cheerfulness in an otherwise gloomy environment.
“A chain of mountains covered in pure white, trees extending beyond the reach of the eye, blue bodies of water mixed in with the white, brown and green. I was speechless and exhilarated, since my eyes had never seen such beauty. For 16 years I’ve seen nothing but the concrete jungle of the Gaza Strip. Still, my reverie was interrupted with an intrusive question: How could I enjoy such beauty when my family and friends back home can’t?” writes Mohammed Alhammami.
Assaf Wohl has authored an empty book about Palestinian history, and now he hurls anti-Semitic tropes against New Zealand Jewish activist Justine Sachs, for persuading Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel. He calls her a “classic Jewish wimp,” and refers to the Holocaust, when some Jews collaborated with Nazis.
When liberal Zionist groups say anything about Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old Palestinian girl who has been imprisoned without charges for slapping an Israeli soldier occupying her back yard, it’s to praise Israeli soldiers for their restraint. They know the case has made the Palestinian cause heroic in the eyes of the world, but they are not allowed to identify with Palestinians.
In a radio debate with Israeli journalist Ben Caspit, writer Shany Littman says his call for a price to be exacted from Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian girl, in the dark without witnesses was a suggestion of sexual assault. Caspit says he merely called for her arrest and denies the Israeli occupation exists.
Jonathan Ofir explains why the slap that was delivered to Ahed Tamimi before she slapped back, is hardly mentioned at all – and how it represents a grand pathology of denial.
Oren Hazan from the ruling Likud party received backlash today after he boarded a bus full of Palestinians traveling from Gaza to visit relatives who are detainees in Israeli prisons, and called them “dogs” and “terrorists” in a video he posted of the encounter to social media. “No, it’s not a question of family visits-this is a reality that must stop, and that’s why I came to confront the beasts,” Hazan wrote yesterday. He further said the Palestinian passengers were “human scum.”
Roland Nikles sends a Christmas message to US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley: “On this Christmas Day, we recall that near Bethlehem, there were shepherds out in the field, ‘and an angel of the Lord appeared to them. . . and the angel said. . . I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.’ And we behold: the angel did not say ‘America First!'”
While Damascus Gate has been the central point of protest in light of US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinians have also been confronting the declaration through other means. The residents of Jabal al-Baba used this year’s Christmas celebration to reaffirm the need to defy Israeli policy of forced displacement and the plans to take over the areas of E-1 northeast of the city.
Seven years ago it was a viral video of a Palestinian boy weeping as his father was arrested by occupying soldiers. Now it’s viral video of a Palestinian girl slapping Israeli soldiers. The occupation is endlessly horrifying to American liberal Zionists but they never do anything about it concretely. They just have their never-ending crisis. Their ethnocentrism ought to horrify their own children.
Israel is arming another repressive regime in the Global South, in Honduras, but Israeli activists are protesting. And Honduras is one of 9 countries to vote in the UN General Assembly against a resolution condemning efforts to name Jerusalem Israel’s capital.
The President of the United States on Wednesday confirmed that countries voting in favor of a United Nations draft resolution condemning the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel could lose U.S. aid money. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Reuters quoted Trump as saying during a White House press conference.
The U.S. uses its veto power at the UN for the first time in six years to strike down a resolution on Donald Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
While the Trump administration has been firm in its commitment to go through with the unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, today the United Nations Security Council will vote on a resolution against the move, pushing the U.S. president to take back the controversial recognition. In response to the U.S.’s anticipated veto, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), plans to get the resolution taken to the General Assembly through the “Uniting for Peace” mechanism in the UN, which was created to deal with stalemates in the Security Council.
In Havana, Cuba, around 500 people, including Palestinian expats, students, as well as locals, and government officials, gathered in a large government-owned community center to mark the 50th anniversary of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Mousa Solyman, the head of the PFLP in Cuba, told Mondoweiss that representing the group in Cuba was an experience like no other. “In the West it seems all aspects of the Palestinian struggle are illegal, not just the PFLP, any combative organization that supports Palestinian rights are considered terrorists, but in Cuba the government is always supporting us because our cause is justice, and living and working here, that support is felt everyday,” Solyman said.
The New York Times has just enough coverage of the war crimes in Yemen, and US complicity in them, so it can say it covered the issue, but not enough to signal to readers that the issue matters. Meanwhile, a torrent of stories has convinced readers that Russiagate is the great issue of our time. For the educated liberal it is convenient to believe that whatever is really wrong can be identified with the Republican Party, so Russiagate is irresistible.
Think what you may of their incendiary words and actions, Donald Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu continue to give us a series of political and philosophical lessons. This past week, the theme of their pedagogy of oppression (to paraphrase the great Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire, who coined the term the pedagogy of the oppressed) was neither Jerusalem nor the long-dead Israeli-Palestinian peace process nor, even, the meaning of international recognition and legitimacy. They taught us about the nature of facts.